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3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202-8199

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On December 6, 2023 Bloodworks Northwest, the local blood bank of the Pacific Northwest and the primary blood supplier for all Legacy, Providence, and PeaceHealth hospitals in our region, is implementing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s new individual donor assessment guidance for all blood donors which eases the restrictions on donations for gay and bisexual men.

All prospective donors will be asked the same risk-based questionnaire regardless, including those about sexual behaviors and history of pregnancy, when signing up to give blood.

This change means that during donor screening, the questionnaire will no longer ask “male-specific” or “female-specific” questions. Newly eligible donors under the new guidance can begin booking appointments now for December 6, 2023 and beyond.

We are kicking off this exciting new era of blood donation by hosting a blood drive on campus at Reed College on December 7th (hosted by SEEDS).

Register now by visiting https://www.bloodworksnw.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/redirectgroup.html?s=049B or scanning the QR code in the attached poster.

See below for a summary of the new criteria posted on the New Era of Blood Donation: Bloodworks Northwest Blog Post:

  • What is the new criteria?

    • The criteria will now focus on sexual contact proven to have a higher risk of disease transmission rather than gender or orientation. All potential donors will be asked whether, in the three months prior to their date of donation, they have:

      • Had sexual contact with a new partner. If so, they will be asked if they have had anal sex in the last three months.

      • Had sexual contact with more than one partner. If so, they will be asked if they have had anal sex in the last three months.

    • Anyone who has had sexual contact with a new partner or more than one partner and who has had anal sex in the past three months is at increased risk for transmitting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other infectious diseases and is deferred for three months.

  • Can people who take medication that prevent potential HIV infections donate?
    Based on current guidance from the FDA, individuals taking preventative HIV medications (such as PrEP or PEP) are still deferred. Available data suggests that the use of PrEP or PEP may delay the detection of HIV in screening tests for blood donations, potentially resulting in false negative results in infected individuals. The risks must be carefully evaluated and approved by the FDA before this deferral can be lifted. Ensuring the safety for blood recipients remains challenging given the lack of sufficient data and the difficulty conducting ethical and effective clinical studies in this area. We support ongoing studies assessing the impact of PrEP on donor testing.

    For the most up-to-date information on medication deferrals and other eligibility requirements, please visit BLOODWORKSNW.ORG/ELIGIBILITY or call 800-398-7888.

  • How can I participate if I’m still deferred?
    Individuals who are not eligible to donate to the community blood supply may still be able to participate in lifesaving research through Bloodworks’ RESEARCH DONOR PROGRAM. When you donate blood for research, you contribute to scientific knowledge that may help future patients and lead to new medical breakthroughs.

Bloodworks’ strong community of LGBTQIA+ employees, volunteers, donors, and supporters has long been a source of hope and change. We owe a special thanks to our LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group for their leadership on this update.

Please contact SEEDS at seeds@reed.edu if you have any questions or inquiries.

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